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Petition debate on neonicotinoids and bees

26 November 2015

On Monday 7 December 2015 the House of Commons debates an e-petition about the use of neonicotinoids on crops and its effects on bees. The debate was scheduled by the Petitions Committee following a petition which was started on petition.parliament.uk

The debate, led by Ben Howlett MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, starts at 4.30pm on Monday 7 December in Westminster Hall. The debate is on the motion: "That this House has considered e-petition 104796 relating to the use of neonicotinoids on crops."

Why is this e-petition being debated?

The Petitions Committee has the power to schedule debates on e-petitions in the House of Commons Second Chamber, Westminster Hall. It considers all petitions which receive over 100,000 signatures for debate but may decide to schedule debates for petitions under this threshold.

In deciding which petitions should be debated, it takes into account how many people have signed the petition, the topicality of the issue raised, and whether the issue has recently been debated in Parliament.

What will the e-petition debate achieve?

Debates on e-petitions in Westminster Hall are general debates about the issues raised by the e-petition. MPs can discuss the petition and, if they wish, ask questions about the Government's position on the issue or press the Government to take action. A Government Minister takes part in the debate and answers the points raised. These debates help to raise the profile of a campaign and could influence decision-making in Government and Parliament.

E-petition debates in Westminster Hall cannot directly change the law or result in a vote to implement the request of the petition. Creating new laws, or changing existing ones, can only be done through the parliamentary legislative process which involves a number of debates, and detailed consideration of the law in draft, in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. This process is normally started by the Government, although there are some ways in which individual MPs or members of the House of Lords who are not in the Government (known as "backbenchers") can ask Parliament to consider new laws.

Further information on how laws are made

The Petitions Committee

The Petitions Committee was set up in July 2015 to consider all petitions started on petition.parliament.uk as well as the traditional public (paper) petitions presented by MPs.

As well as scheduling debates on petitions, the Committee can also conduct inquiries of its own. The Committee works closely with other House of Commons Select Committees to help connect petitioners with the work of Parliament. 

Get involved

Contact your MP

You could contact your MP directly to tell them why this debate is important to you and suggest any points you would like them to raise.

Attend a free event before the debate

The Petitions Committee has organised a small event in the House of Commons before the debate for petitioners and members of the public interested in the petition issue. The Chair of the Committee and other MPs (tbc) will be on hand to explain and answer questions about the Committee and the e-petition debate. It will also be an opportunity to share your views on the subject of the petition. Please note spaces are limited and attendance will only be confirmed once you have sent an RSVP.

When: Monday 7 December from 3 to 4pm

Where: Committee Room 16, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

RSVP:  petitionscommittee@parliament.uk Please RSVP by 5pm on Friday 4 December stating your name and why you wish to attend (for example you signed the petition/ you have different views to those of the petitioners or you are interested in e-petition debates). Your place will be confirmed by email.

Watch the debate online

You can watch or listen to the e-petition debate live from 4.30pm on Monday 7 December:

After the debate, the video will be available permanently from this page. A transcript of the debate will also be available and appear on this page the following day.

Start your own petition

Media enquiries

For media enquiries please contact the House of Commons Media Office on 020 7219 0969 / hocmediacorporate@parliament.uk

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